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Along with wife Gwen McCrae, Miami-based artist George McCrae was a prime mover on the early disco front with his own R&B chart-topper "Rock Your Baby" in 1974. Born in 1944 in West Palm Beach, he formed his own vocal group in the early '60s, which eventually included his future wife Gwen. They soon began working as a duo, and when Gwen found success as a solo act, George eventually became her manager as well as backing vocalist.
With disco kings Harry Casey and Richard Finch of KC & the Sunshine Band producing and writing his output on Henry Stone's T.K. label, McCrae found a hit on his first try with "Rock Your Baby," originally intended as a single for Gwen. It topped charts around the world, and he rapidly returned with the double-sided hit "I Can't Leave You Alone"/"I Get Lifted," but fads being fickle, McCrae's fortunes slipped as the decade progressed. Although he continued recording during the '80s and '90s, he only charted in England with 1984's "One Step Closer (To Love)." After a long absence from recording and releasing material, he returned in 2009 with Time for a Change.
Wikipedia:For other people named George McCrae, see George McCrae (disambiguation).
George Warren McCrae, Jr. (born October 19, 1944) is an American soul and disco singer, most famous for his 1974 hit "Rock Your Baby".George McCrae, Discogs.com. Retrieved 2 June 2014 Cite error: The named reference AMG was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
McCrae was the second of nine children, born in West Palm Beach, Florida. He formed his own singing group, the Jivin' Jets, before joining the United States Navy in 1963. Four years later, he reformed the group, with his wife Gwen joining the line-up, but soon afterwards they decided to work as a duo, recording for Henry Stone's Alston record label. Gwen then won a solo contract, with George acting as her manager as well as doing some singing on sessions and in clubs in Palm Beach.
He was about to return to college to study law enforcement, when Richard Finch and Harry Wayne Casey of KC and the Sunshine Band invited him to sing the lyrics for a song that they had recorded for the band, but could not reach the high notes that were required for the song. The original intention was that Gwen, his wife, should record it, but she was late for the session and George recorded alone. It suited his high-pitched voice to the extent that the song, "Rock Your Baby", became one of the first hits of the disco era in 1974, selling an estimated eleven million copies worldwide, topping the charts in the U.S., UK. The song was so successful that Rolling Stone magazine voted it the #1 song of the year in 1974. McCrae received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male R&B Vocalist the following year.
Two further single releases, "I Can't Leave You Alone" and "It's Been So Long", taken from his album Rock Your Baby, also reached the UK Singles Chart Top 10. He recorded several further albums for TK, including George McCrae (1975) and Diamond Days (1976), and also continued to record with, and manage, his wife until their divorce in 1976. While he continued to record albums including We Did It! and his second self-titled album George McCrae (both 1978), his commercial popularity slipped as the decade progressed. He remarried, moved to Canada, and entered a period of semi-retirement, leaving TK at the end of the 1970s.
He returned with the album One Step Closer to Love in 1984, the title track from which entered the charts in Britain, Canada and Holland. He moved to the Netherlands and remarried again in the late 1980s. His later albums found some success in Europe, and he continued to perform regularly there. By the 2000s he shared his time between homes in Florida, Aruba and the Netherlands."Biography by Bill Dahl". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 18 February 2009. Georgemccrae.com Colin Larkin, The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Omnibus Press, 2011 Scott Benarde, "Hometown Interview: George McCrae", The Palm Beach Post News, republished at georgemccrae.com. Retrieved 3 June 2014 Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 347. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. Cite error: The named reference British_Hit_Singles_.26_Albums was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Rock Your Baby album at Discogs.com. Retrieved 3 June 2014 George McCrae, DiscoMuseum.net. Retrieved 3 June 2014